Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Making money on eBay

Well, I haven't touched on the subject of eBay yet, and I figured the time was upon me. I am a seller on eBay, but believe me, I don't sell alot, or high dollar items. I know there is a lot of money to be made on eBay.

For example, I know someone who lives by a Pottery Barn Outlet store, goes on the days of their delivery each week, buys ALOT of merchandise. Then, they come home and turn around and sell it on eBay for a profit. I "heard" they made over $8,000 last year doing this. Wow!

Anyway, I am not that ambitious. First, I don't live that close to a Pottery Barn ( maybe if I did, I would sell it...I don't know ). But, I do always have things I can make money on by selling. You don't have to be a big time seller to make a little money.

First, as I clean out drawers, closets, etc through the week ( yes, it feels like I am constantly cleaning stuff ), I find things I don't need anymore. I have clothes my children have outgrown, old baby items that my youngest and last does not need anymore. And, I have TONS of items from doing online offers.

So, each week, I have an eBay day on my calendar. For me, it is Wednesday ( hence, why I am posting about it today ). I look at all the items that have come in the mail for the week and list them. I also package up everything that has closed and sold from my previous week's listings.

What do I sell? Clothes, Toys, Books, DVDs, CDs, Coupons, etc. Anything I don't need or want that I can make a little bit on.

The clothes and toys I get from our own home....but where do I get all my books, DVDs and CDs to sell? First, I do online offers frequently. You can read here to get the full scoop. And, my favorite offers to do our BMG Music, Columbia House and book clubs, such as Zooba and Literary Guild. Why?

First, they give me credit towards my gift. And, this is often worth hundreds to thousands of dollars. Second, they give you "MANY" CDs, DVDs, books up front for a very low price. So, I get them all delivered at once and then turn around and sell them for a profit. Next, you are committed to buying so many more over the next 2 years, etc. No problem.

Although these are at full price, I only buy when they send out the advertisement of buy 1 at full price, get 1 free. You will find these via email as specials throught the year. These come out every so many months, but I am in no hurry. I have years to complete my membership. And, if I wait until these sales, I am getting the products at half price then, plus meeting my membership requirements. And, again, I turn around and sell them...usually for a low profit, as these weren't as heavily discounted. But, still over all...I make quite a bit on signing up for these offers.

The other benefit to these clubs. As soon as you close them ( close out as soon as you meet your requirements ), they begin sending you information to sign up and come back. And, they give you a bunch of free DVDs, CDs, etc again! More money! The only recommendation I have with these clubs is that you either have them mail you a hard copy of your monthly selection ( you have to remember to call or log in and request to not have a product shipped each month ) and do it as SOON as it comes in the mail. Or, have a date on your calendar that you know you have to log in and request your monthly selection not be shipped. This last week, I made $20 profit selling 3 DVDs. I still have 3 more posted, so I should be getting that money soon.

If you aren't ready to venture into the world of online offers, you will still have access to all the CDs, DVDs, and books and can begin selling them if you join any of those clubs on your own.

What else do I like to sell? Coupons. Yes, coupons! Well, I should say my time to collect and mail coupons, to be exact. As soon as I get a coupon in the mail for somewhere I know I won't use before it expires, I post it. I have made up to $15 for one coupon to Gymboree Kids Clothing before. Most times, I only make about $1-$2 per coupon. But, still! Someone gets the benefit and I get a little extra money to stick something in the mailbox.

eBay does have a policy on coupon selling, so please make sure to follow it. One of the main things is to make sure the buyer knows they are paying you for your time...not the actual coupon. It sounds crazy, but if you read the fine print on a lot of coupons...they are void if sold or bartered. So, you cannot sell the actual coupon itself.

Remember my post on signing up for mailing lists/loyalty programs everywhere you go? Well, this is why! You get a lot of coupons you can then, use yourself, or you can sell. Right now, I have a $10 Off coupon for Lowe's posted on eBay, which I expect to at least make $2 or more on. It came in the mail yesterday. So, free money for me that arrived in my mailbox! I wish I could have just used it, but since it expires in a week and a half, and I KNEW we wouldn't use it before that date, I was better off selling and letting someone else have the benefit.

Don't forget, shipping and handling can increase your profit, too. Although I do not recomment overcharging for this service, I do bundle a small amount for handling into my charge. For DVDs, CDs and Books, I add about an extra $2.00 for my handling ( this covers my packaging material, tape, and time ).

So, if you haven't signed up for eBay yet ( I know there are still some of you out there ), click here to get started. Then, as you clean stuff around your house, find deals out and about, do online offers or get coupons in the them off on eBay. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you can make. Last year,I made just shy of $400 selling these types of products alone. It doesn't compete with my Pottery Barn selling friend, but was $400 I didn't have before. AND...I have less clutter in my house. Bonus!


Mrs Nespy said...

You know...I belong to some video/music clubs, but I've never thought of using the benefits for this. Interesting idea...

Caro said...

Also, don't forget Craigslist if you live in a city that has an active craigslist community. It's free to post things for sale there and while you don't get anyone bidding you up, you usually don't have to do anything but field some emails and then set up a time for them to come get the items.

This is what I do for my bigger items.

In addition, Books can be listed on both and for free and you only pay when the book sells. I'm a big fan of this method for books that don't sell well on ebay. A good method for doing this, though, is to create a shelf or two (whatever space you can afford) in your house for these books and then when you run out of space, bundle up the ones you've been holding on to for the longest and either sell them as a lot on ebay, or on craigslist. Or they get put into the garage sale closet.


Morehart said...

One thing my wife and I did in the past, and we are about to do again, is sell our old Text Books on Barnes and If you go to the text book section you can tell them. You put the ISBN # in and they will tell you what they will pay you for them. When you are done you will print off a pre-paid postage sticker. You package them, put them in the mail, and in about 2-4 weeks you will have a check for your books.

You get rid of some old books and make a buck!

Carrie @ said... I glad I finally did this post.

First, what great ideas. I can't wait to check out and for selling...I had just alway stuck to eBay...and if I can avoid listing fees...even better.

2nd...I have TONS of old Accounting/Finance/Economics, etc text books. So, does my husband! I was looking at them in the basement the other day trying to decide whether to throw them away or not...they take so much space. But, as we all know...they cost me a fortune back when I was a poor college student. And, it is heartbreaking to throw away something I spent so much $ on. I can't wait to check Barnes and Nobles now! THANKS, THANKS, THANKS!

Becky said...

I don't know anything about selling at Barnes & Noble but is soooooo easy!! Half is set up to sell CD's, DVD's, Video games and books....all new or used. You can set up your Half listings to also be seen in ebay express without any listing fees. Your items get double the exposure and you aren't limited by having a listing only run for 7 days or less like in ebay auctions.